Novak Djokovic's Adria Tour has caused a seemingly endless furor in the tennis fraternity. And Dominic Thiem, who was the winner of the tournament's Belgrade leg, has been heavily criticized - by Nick Kyrgios in particular - for his comments following the coronavirus outbreak at the event.
The outspoken Kyrgios had called out Dominic Thiem and the rest for thinking of the pandemic situation as a 'joke' and 'partying like potatoes', and later trying to pass it off as a 'mistake'.
However, Thiem isn't one to keep silent, and he has repeatedly defended Novak Djokovic and the rest over the last few days. Now he has shot back at the critics again while subtly targeting Kyrgios, calling their opinions "not necessary".
Dominic Thiem, who is scheduled to play a Berlin exhibition tournament on grass, spoke at length in a press conference after arriving in the city.
The Austrian admitted that the Adria Tour made a mistake by not enforcing strict safety measures. With Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Novak Djokovic contracting coronavirus, there was little justification for the lack of social distancing at the event.
However, Thiem then took a jibe at Australia's Nick Kyrgios, who has been openly critical of the Austrian and the other players at Novak Djokovic's event.
"Certain opinions, especially those from Australia, are really not necessary," Dominc Thiem said.
Dominic Thiem feels Novak Djokovic hasn't committed any crime
Despite the harsh criticism being directed at Novak Djokovic over the Adria Tour, Dominic Thiem expressed sympathy towards the Serb and his cause.
"Novak and the others have not committed any crimes, it must be said," Thiem elaborated. “Being criticized was not unfair because we all made mistakes. It is clear...But it was too much in the end because the intentions (of the organizers) of the tournament were good."
The lack of safety and poor organizational measures caused the exhibition to snowball into something bigger than anyone could have imagined, and possibly even jeopardize the upcoming tournaments. But the World No. 3 believes people should stop blaming Novak Djokovic for what happened and instead look at the Adria Tour as a lesson to learn from.
With the ATP tour set to resume from 14 August, Dominic Thiem stressed on the importance of 'paying attention' to the pandemic and avoiding the mistakes of the past.
“We have to learn from our mistakes and pay attention to this pandemic. This is what we have to remember from the Adria Tour," Dominic Thiem insisted.Published 14 Jul 2020, 11:28 IST